Safe Autumn Dates To Have Inside



Contestant Rebekah Byland adds pumpkin seed accents to her owl carving during the contest amid Nickelodeon’s Booniverse halloween event Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. (Anthony Souffle/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Peter Schlachte

Christian G. asks, “Thanks to your Tinder tips, I met a real cutie! Now I need to know — what are your tips for romantic autumnal dates?”

Dear Christian,

Admittedly, I’ve had an abysmal dating career in winter, spring and summer months, but I’ve wooed my way through 27 autumn dates. Each one ended with me married and raking leaves in my betrothed’s front lawn while she tossed Bud Lights at me like I was a cocker spaniel playing fetch. The problem: scientists have statistically proven that autumn is the most dangerous season of the year. Pumpkin carving? Caramel apple dipping? Haunted houses? Late night bonfires? What if your significant other slices a finger off? Chokes on those sticky apple shavings? Is stalked by vengeful spirits? Or grew up with crippling asthma and can’t inhale smoke but neglected to tell you, so they die in your arms?

Instead, I suggest that all your autumnal dates occur inside, preferably within your home. If you don’t own a house, simply rent one for the months of September through November.

Now, let’s walk through the date: you’ve wooed Todd Smitherson to your house. First, tape a sign to your front door that says “come on in!!!” with exactly three exclamation marks to emphasize that you’re fun and flirty. You also want to wear clothes that convey your romantic passion for Todd. I suggest one of those “I heart NY” shirts, but cross out NY and write Todd instead.

My eight marriage counselors advise me that eye contact and probing questions are key to every relationship. Therefore, challenge Todd to a staring contest while asking each other New York Times’ “36 Questions That Lead to Love™  with questions like “What is your most terrible memory?” and “How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” There’s no way the date won’t be dynamite, especially if you keep that sultry and sensuous eye contact. The whole experience is like giving hickeys with your eyes or French-kissing with your souls.

After your erotically electric, borderline transcendent, and physically sterile encounter, it’s time for the marriage proposal. Real rings scare people. Instead, always carry a ring pop in your pocket. Get down on one knee, and shove the ring pop towards Todd’s lips while asking if he’ll marry you. If Todd says no, respond with “Oh, you don’t like that flavor? I can give you a different one.” Make sure to propose to him during every date because people love persistence. Eventually, Todd will have to say yes. Once you’re married (this should occur by the third date at the latest), don’t change anything. Dating is all about consistency, so you should continue to have the same staring contests, order Todd to cook each meal, and propose to him every time.

If you follow these tips, you’ll hit a home run with cuffing season! Good luck Christian, and make sure to send me a wedding invitation!